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Real Humans of the CEIBS MBA Class of 2022

Jiaying Li, CEIBS MBA Class of 2022

Age: 26
Hometown: Beijing, China
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Boston University (Mass Communication, Psychology)
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 4 years, Private Equity and Investment Consulting

Why business school? Why now?
There are four major objectives I hope to achieve by enrolling at business school now. Each of them is critical for me at this point in my career:

  • Hone my finance skills by learning from top professors and extremely knowledgeable classmates;
  • Build a long term network and friendships with some of the most talented and hardworking people around the world;
  • In my two years of management experience, I realized there were gaps in my managerial skills, so I hope to fill those gaps during the MBA and become a more proficient manager;
  • Finally, I hope to find my true area of interest. Although I enjoyed working in PE and investment consulting, I’d like to use the MBA as an opportunity to explore different industries.

Why CEIBS? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I spent six years studying in the US, but witnessing China’s tremendous growth from outside inspired me to come back and develop my career here. Having decided to pursue my long-term career here, I need to learn more about China’s economy, way of doing business, and also build relations here.

CEIBS was an obvious choice for me. Outstanding professors with rich global experience, a high-quality curriculum structure, exceptional alumni resources, and an interesting campus experience are all reflected in the school’s high global rankings. All of these resources are essential in grooming leaders who can contribute to society.

Furthermore, the length of the program (12-18 months) suits me perfectly. I completed my double major undergraduate degree in 2.5 years so I’m more than up for the MBA challenge.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022?
I have interviewed more than 600 specialists across various industries to compile commercial dual diligence reports for investors. My interactions with these experts have given me an insider’s perspective in different niche sectors of consumer industries. I look forward to bringing my viewpoint to the class and even invite some industry experts to share their knowledge with my classmates.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
I’m an animal fanatic. Since I was born, I have had 16 pets (including dogs, cats, minks, ducks, turtles, rabbits, and hamsters). Some of them are still happily living with me and my family. My post-retirement dream is to have a little farm where I can raise sheep, alpacas, and ponies.

Post-MBA career interests?
I’m inclined towards management consulting. However, I have joined the MBA program with an open mind. Having classmates from many diverse industries will give me an opportunity to explore different sectors.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Talking to alumni was particularly helpful. They gave me a clearer idea about how to prepare my application. One alumnus even helped me with a mock interview before my real one.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
I was too nervous during the application process. In retrospect, I think I shouldn’t have been so under confident and should have believed in myself a little more.

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I would have definitely liked to skip all the stress. Haha.

What is your initial impression of CEIBS’s students/culture/community? 
Every student in my class is so lovely, smart, enthusiastic, straightforward, and brave that I want to give each one of them a big hug to show them how impressed I am. I can’t stop thinking about how successful China will be when these talented people become the mainstays of society.

One thing you have learned about CEIBS that has surprised you?
I loved finding out that alumni have lifetime access to the library. For people like me who love reading, being able to access the most popular and latest books and periodicals for free is amazing!

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I get nervous jitters every time I think about the financial accounting class. As I have heard from many alumni, FA is the most dreadful course. I really hope I do well in it.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Meeting new people and learning new things from classmates and professors. Being able to expand my horizon and learning new methodologies that will help my tackle real-world situations is something I’m extremely excited about.

Posted in: Real Humans of MBA Class of 2022, Real Humans of MBA Students

Schools: CEIBS

About the Author


Christina Griffith  

Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.

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